It used to be easy when planning ahead for a future career. It was simply a matter of realising which subjects you flourished in at high school and then making a dedicated effort to realise your ambition during further studies at university.
However, recent decades have seen a rapid rate of change in the way many industries function, with the workforce struggling to adapt and keep pace. In fact, workplace choices are evolving so quickly that “Futurist” is becoming a bona fide career option in a world where students attempt to align their talents with jobs that don’t yet even exist!
The head of Australia’s Open Training Institute, Vincent Creighton, attributes the change in outlook to advances in technology that have resulted in entirely new industries. The scenario is a double-edged sword, creating new openings for some workers while making others obsolete at never-before-seen rates.
According to Creighton:
“Once upon a time, people would train for a particular industry and expect the training or qualification to last a lifetime. The world just isn’t like that anymore…lifelong learning has become a reality if you want to stay relevant at work.”
A graphic example of change is the rise in online shopping, which is forecast to become one of Australia’s biggest growth industries, second only to the major energy sectors of oil and gas extraction. Middle-aged Australians have been most affected by the change and are searching for ways to remain valuable members of the workforce. Many of us went to school and university at a time when online shopping was unheard of, and the internet was a dream best suited to sci-fi novels.
Workplace changes spawned by the internet provide an abundance of new opportunities, but even people employed in traditional trades and services need to adapt to meet today’s industry standards and consumer expectations. More than ever before, tradespeople are expected to be fully knowledgeable regarding workplace health and safety, best on-site practices and appropriate certification.
Fortunately, study platforms are evolving to fill the breach and provide opportunities for new (and traditional) career choices. Australian educational institutions are world leaders in the provision of both on-campus and online study options that assist people in keeping up to date and qualified for full-time work.
IBISWorld, a highly regarded research and statistics organisation, recently revealed that online education is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Mr Creighton believes “people need options that allow them to study while maintaining their family lives and keeping up with full-time work…for many, online study is the only way they can do it.”
Future growth industries include:
➢ Oil and gas extraction
➢ Online retail and shopping
➢ Preschool education and care
➢ Mining related support services
➢ Aged care
➢ Online education
➢ Diagnostic imaging
➢ Computer systems design
➢ Courier services associated with online shopping
There are more employment options than ever before. The majority of traditional occupations are here to stay, and ongoing technological developments are opening up entirely new avenues of career and employment opportunities. Educational qualifications remain an essential component in achieving our future goals regardless of the ever-changing workplace landscape.
It will serve us all well to keep abreast of trends and new opportunities. According to Thomas Frey, a futurist associated with the Da Vinci Institute, A US-based think tank, “around 60 percent of jobs we will be doing in 10 years time are yet to be invented.”